News

    US Says Iranian Nuclear Program Requires Significant International Response

    Senior U.S. diplomat Nicholas Burns said Thursday Iran's non-compliance with calls that it cease uranium enrichment will require a significant international response including possible sanctions. The Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs met with Pakistani Foreign Secretary Riaz Mohammed Khan, who said his government opposes any use of force in the standoff over Iran's nuclear program.

    Undersecretary Burns says Iran has crossed all international redlines with regard to its nuclear program, and that it is time for the international community to deliver a strong rebuke to Tehran including possible sanctions in the U.N. Security Council.

    Burns met reporters here with his Pakistani counterpart on the eve of the delivery to the Security Council of a report by International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohammed ElBaradei on Iranian compliance with the March 29 council statement, which called on Tehran to end enrichment and return to nuclear negotiations.

    Burns, the third-ranking State Department official, said it is clear the ElBaradei report will be strongly negative about Iranian compliance, and that it will now be incumbent on the Security Council to consider punitive action.

    "There is no question in my mind that were going to have to see a significant international response, and that will be one of rebuke of the government of Iran for its actions," said Nicholas Burns. "And as I said last week, and as Secretary [of State] Rice has said during this week when she's been traveling in the Middle East and Europe, a great variety of countries are going to have to consult about whether or not sanctions is the right way forward. The United States believes it is. There has to be a significant international diplomatic response to show the Iranian government that this is not a cost-free exercise."

    Though U.S. officials have said they are pursuing a diplomatic course to deal with the Iranian nuclear program, which they say has a covert weapons component, they have also said the Bush administration retains all options, implicitly including military ones.

    Appearing alongside Undersecretary Burns, the Pakistani Foreign Secretary said his government shares concern about the Iranian nuclear program but wants to see no resort to military action.

    "We have also concerns regarding the gravity of the situation relating to the nuclear issue concerning Iran," said Riaz Mohammed Khan. "We made it very clear that we are opposed to any use of force in the area to resolve this issue. There is no military option, and we have emphasized that we look to the success of diplomatic efforts and that there would be a diplomatic solution to this issue."

    Undersecretary Burns said the Bush administration is focused on the diplomatic track and that he is gratified by the number of countries who have come forward to express concerns about Iranian intentions.

    He said international concern has grown in light of what he termed extraordinary statements from Iran in recent days, including an assertion by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that Iran is willing to share nuclear technology with Sudan, a country Burns termed highly irresponsible.

    Burns said in the entire world, only Syria, Venezuela and Belarus appear to support the notion that Iran should be allowed to have a nuclear weapons capability.

    The Undersecretary will join senior diplomats of the five permanent Security Council member states and Germany in Paris next Tuesday to discuss possible next steps in the process following the ElBaradei report.

    Officials here say there could be a ministerial-level meeting of the same countries at the U.N. in New York, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the following week to discuss a course of action for the Security Council.

    Burns and Foreign Secretary Khan spoke as they neared the end of two days of talks in the first session of the U.S-Pakistan strategic dialogue, agreed upon during President Bush's visit to Islamabad last month.

    They said they agreed to proceed with a planned sale of U.S. F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, but Khan said the purchase would be greatly scaled down because of cost factors arising from Pakistan's devastating earthquake last October.

    Pakistan had originally been expected to buy about 25 advanced-model F-16's. Khan said the revised package would involve a mix of used and new aircraft.

    Burns said the administration would begin consultations with Congress on the sale shortly.

    The talks here also covered Kashmir, with Burns reiterating the U.S. intention help Pakistan and India resolve the territorial dispute, but not in a mediating role.

    He said terrorism and violence in Afghanistan were covered as well, and that the United States wants to help Pakistan uplift the economy of tribal areas along the Afghan border, from which Taleban and al Qaeda elements have operated.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora